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Eye Witness guide needs white stick

April 20, 2014

I am beginning to see a theme running through our trip along the northern Spanish coast. The “”Eye Witness Guide”, upon which we have unwisely been relying for informed and accurate reporting says “lovely fishing village” which is almost always totally at odds with the fact. If I could find and shoot the person reasonable for the pile of shite written about these concrete jungle horrors, then I would happily swing for him. I agree that the beaches and scenery are tremendous but the Spanish have a passion for dirty concrete and blind architects. Couple that with a healthy respect by the locals for their cement mixers and colour blindness or a love of grey cement tones, then you have a recipe for destroying a beautiful area with cement. Time and time again, beautiful natural situations have been ruined by a series of monstrous carbuncles of development of the most unpleasant kind. I loved the music that came out of the sixties and seventies and I hate the buildings that were created in the same period, and 90% of them seem to have been built on the northern coast of Spain.

However, despite the appalling efforts of the concrete living brigade and then architects from hell, the area does have a few redeeming features, which this army of idiots has been unable to destroy. Apart from the wonderful scenery, The hotels are clean and really cheap, if utilitarian rather than charming. Mostly they are there functional and are clean, warm, well-appointed, and cost around 50 euros (about £40 at today’s excellent Currencies Direct exchange rates) a night including taxes and breakfast. A beer costs around 1.50, and a typical tapas meal for 2 less than 25. Best of all, a large glass of Rioja is a maximum of 2 euros for a decent sized glass. It means it is quite cheap to be able to crowd out the useless and ugly architecture.

seaside in Spain

Spanish coastline

Yesterday was spent driving down the coast from Cameriones in northern Gallicia, and ending up at Ribadero on the edge of Cantabria. We are on our way back east, aiming for Bilbao and San Sebastian tomorrow night, unless we get hijacked along the way. By that I mean diverted by somewhere or something nice that changes our plans, not hijacked literally, as That Nice Lady Decorator declined to go back inland across Spain to Leon, (which had been recommended by Poly Bufton) on the grounds that it meant driving through Bandit country in her new Q7 skip, which is full of a load of detritus that we apparently need for our two month stay on Valbonne.

Last night we had a wander around Ribadero, which was pleasant except for having the slobbery dog in tow, which precluded us going in to any of the places I fancied as we had to find a bar with an outside terrace. So whilst he (Banjo) the a pesky mutt was all wrapped up in his permanent fur coat, happily trying to stretch his lead to reach those scraps of food that always seem to be laying on the floor, I was trying to keep warm enough to survive the evening, whilst simultaneously trying to avoid him gobbing on my smart white chinos. I was going to say it was a game of cat and mouse, but in fact it is more of a game of dog and mouse, where I was the mouse.

San Sebastián has been deemed our target for tomorrow, and I have high hopes that modern Spanish Architects have been unable so far to exact their usual death hold over the building stock, so am looking forward to seeing something worthwhile by this evening.

Chris France

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 21, 2014 11:05 am

    A fat slobbery dog was in tow,
    Where’s this going? I think you all know!!
    Issy’s slim as can be
    So who could it be?
    Let’s just say it wasn’t Banjo!!

    I sort of get the impression you’re not too keen on the local architecture…I’m just waiting to read the phrase ‘monstrous carbuncle’ !!!


    • April 21, 2014 12:24 pm

      Monstrous carbuncle? What a good phrase, I shall remember that

      Sent from my iPhone



  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 21, 2014 11:06 am

    Or even

    Let’s just say that it wasn’t Banjo.


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    April 21, 2014 2:04 pm

    I can’t take credit I’m afraid. It’s how Prince Charles described some new building years ago. What’s happened to all my fellow limerick collaborators ??!!


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